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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

V/A: Grooves' E-DAY 2011

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

A recurring phrase that is likely to come's best of the E-Day and E-Live to date

1 Bahnhof Zoo (Rene Splinter) 4:29

2 Shadows of Ignorance (Remy) 16:34

Erik Wollo

3 Ataraxia 1 7:33

4 Ataraxia 2 7:38

5 Tunnel Vision (R. Splinter) 9:13

Harald Grosskopf & Sunya Beat

6 E-Day live 1 9:13

7 E-Day live 2 9:14

8 E-Day live 3 6:36

9 Lemniscate Live (R. Splinter) 8:12

(CD 77:34) (V.F.)

(Berlin School Progressive EM)

The E-Day festival, like the E-Live, attracts hundreds of spectators from all over the world. E-DAY 2011 was in its 6th edition and featured performances from Rene Splinter, Remy, Erik Wøllo and Harald Grosskopf. Once again, the organizers, Kees Aerts and Ron Boots, have succeeded in setting a festival full of sounds where Berlin School rubs shoulders with more progressive and atmospheric music, while the reminiscences of a Tangerine Dream of the 80's were also very present. And like each year, Groove nl produces a CD that is a souvenir and an excellent showcase, while being a complement to this festival where each artist on the CD offers unique material. A great collector's item for fans of the artists and for those who want to discover them.

If you are a fan of Tangerine Dream's Johannes Schmoelling years, René Splinter is a must and will capture your attention. Bahnhof Zoo is a great piece straight out of the Exit and Thief years with a strong rhythmic influence from Kiev Mission. Everything you hear on this track will undoubtedly take you back to the heart of this period. With its metallic chords, its muffled pulsations and its sequences undulating like metallic snake skeletons, Tunnel Vision bathes in the ambiences of Le Parc and White Eagle, before furrowing a hypnotic pulsating rhythm that is propelled by furious electronic percussions and encircled by a magnetic movement of the sequencer. Very fine and chiseled, like whistles, the solos sing on this structure with musical elements that are so close to the Dream that you think you're hearing new material. The intro of Lemniscate Live still dips in these ambiences, except that the title elaborates a more beautiful melodic approach with synths' soft breaths and metallic layers which remain in suspension on a structure nervously fluttering on the spot. A pulse emerges and beats an uncertain measure, like wolf steps, while a superb movement of the sequencer forges a slightly spasmodic circular rhythm to plunge Lemniscate Live into a rhythmic incoherence where the rhythm constantly permutates in ambiences and solos always very close to the roots of TD of the 80's. Dark pulsating chords zigzag among percussions that shape faint thunder under a fine mellotron mist. Following the mold of Klaus Schulze's work, Remy's Shadows of Ignorance evolves with a delicate rhythm under fine synth solos with spectral nocturnal wanderings. Solos that nervously chisel an evolving, even a little groovy, rhythm that becomes incisive when the percussions fall for the first time around the 6 minutes. Thereafter the rhythm of Shadows of Ignorance will constantly change, passing from ambient phases to hellish rhythms hammered by furious percussions and harpooned by biting bass chords and overflown by superb synth solos at the same time spectral and piercing which let filter fine mellotron mists. It's true that I'm a fan of Remy, whom I consider to be the equivalent of Klaus Schulze, but I loved this great track that spreads all its musical complexity over constantly changing rhythms surrounded by powerful synth solos. Those who don't know this brilliant synthesist and composer yet, it's high time to start discovering him.

Nervous riffs with jerky wiggles dancing on tribal style percussions open Ataraxia 1 that thin layers of guitars wrap with a morphic membrane. A bit like his collaborations with Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo weaves strange and beautiful melodies, a bit tribal, on jerky rhythms where guitar riffs support solos that melt in the morphic envelopes of the synth layers. Good guitar solos are hovering over the spasmodic riffs of Ataraxia 1, creating a strange fusion between a jerky rhythmic structure and an ethereal ambience. More melodic, Ataraxia 2 offers a more delicate rhythmic approach where spectral guitar solos are floating over a lively rhythm formed of looping riffs, even embracing a slightly rock approach. One of the highlights of this E-DAY 2011 is the presence of Harald Grosskopf and his band Sunya Beat who presents a rather particular style of music where cosmic rock embraces Krautrock. E-Day live 1 opens with heterogeneous sounds surrounded by oblong layers of languidly undulating guitar, while a bass shapes a slow, sensual rhythm that is matched by docile cymbals. Guitar wails become slow cries where riffs and brief solos shape strange chants over a languid beat that gains more punch with the arrival of pounding percussions. And E-Day live 1 continues its progression with a rhythm always heavier and where the guitar sculpts astonishing sonorities and very good solos which parade in loops on a cadence pounded by more aggressive percussions. E-Day live 2 starts with a dazzling guitar solo that seizes the audience while Harald Grosskopf takes out cymbals and tabla percussions to create a bewitching cosmic rhythm of a tribe that has rolled themselves a big joint. After a short atmospheric passage, the rhythm comes back with more strength and draws a more technoïd approach, a la Ashra on Sauce Hollandaise, with demented percussions that strike an eclectic atmosphere where electronics and its strident synth solos embrace cosmic rock nourished by great guitar solos. Electric piano chords resound in the silence to awaken the unrestrained rhythm of the unbridled percussions of E-Day live 3. A bass with free jazz chords supports this structure filled with composite sounds that is very close to Ashra's progressive roots, especially because of its mesmerizing guitar's solos. Solos constantly hovering around a jerky rhythm where ethereal choirs are daydreaming over a structure that has become increasingly chaotic but still preserves its melodic approach with its piano chords that come and go in a strong musical tumult. The percussions, both acoustic and electronic, become unleashed and Harald Grosskopf offers himself a wild solo feeding the spasmodic and jerky rhythm of E-Day live 3 which quietly reaches its point of origin.

For a compilation of unreleased tracks, E-DAY 2011 is simply delectable. Once again, Groove nl's managers are not afraid to exploit different musical styles for a single festival, transposing its recipe on a CD that has no real weaknesses. There is something for everyone on this compilation which, in my opinion, is the best of the E-Day and E-Live to date. A recurring phrase that is likely to come back...

Sylvain Lupari (September 13th, 2011) *****

Available at Groove nl

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